When I first started this blog, I had vowed to myself that I wouldn’t touch a few topics. Those topics are: religion, gender, politics, and race.
As this blog has evolved and I’ve taken it in it’s current direction, I’ve managed to mostly keep politics, gender, and race out of it. Religion was something that I felt I could incorporate naturally and gradually. However, as my children are getting older (and in particular Squeaker), I’ve come to realize that I cannot ignore gender and race completely.
Politics, on the other hand, I refuse to touch.
So why then, after so many months with this blog, am I breaking away from my stance against posting about gender and race? Well, that has to do with a love of Disney movies. I grew up as a Disney fan and I remain a Disney fan. I love the Disney classics and while some of the live action movies aren’t my cup of tea; an announcement for one caught my interest.
Mulan is set to be released as a live action movie in 2018.
First released as an animated movie in 1998, Disney’s Mulan is an adaptation of the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan. I remember seeing this movie in theater with my mom… even though I was already 16 at the time of the movie’s release.
It was one of the only Disney movies that my mom ever watched with me.
As a fourth generation Japanese American and second generation Filipino American, I have embraced my ethnic background and culture. Granted, I know a little bit more about the Japanese side but none the less, being an Asian American is something that I am incredibly proud of.
So, when we realized that a Disney movie would be featuring an Asian female as it’s lead; my mom and I were both eager to see what would come of it.
My mom already had issues with the Disney version of Pocahontas- which was the other Disney movie that my mom watched with me in theater. And being that we are Asian, we were both skeptical about how Disney would handle Mulan.
Aside from immediately falling in love with Mushu, I was pleased and proud of Mulan. I felt that Disney had done the legend justice to the best of their ability. It is still Disney, after all, and they have a reputation to uphold. It also encouraged me to seek out the sources and origins of Hua Mulan in addition to learning more about Chinese culture, history, and folklore.
If anything, Mulan encouraged my quest for a greater understanding of my own culture and background.
Fast forward to now, with the announcement from Disney that they are going to produce a live-action version of Mulan.
The inner child in me is thrilled. The skeptic in me, is well, quite skeptic that they won’t be able to do the film justice.
And the Asian American female in me, the very core of who I am, hopes beyond anything that this movie will have an all Asian (if not all Chinese) cast. Hollywood is so prone to whitewashing movies that could or should feature minorities. Ultimately, they are only doing a disservice to themselves and potentially offending entire ethnic groups.
Rumors had previously been spread about the live action version of Mulan featuring a white male love interest.
I was immediately on edge and offended that Disney would even think to consider this.
But then I’d read further that it was only one script that Disney had purchased as a fallback. And there was a huge sigh of relief.
Rumors have also indicated that Mulan will be filmed on location in China which gives me further hope that the cast (and perhaps production crew) will be Asian.
The live action version of Mulan is something that I am anticipating but also wary of. As an Asian American female, I can only hope that Disney will do the film justice. As an Asian American mom who plans to see this movie with her daughter, I can only hope that Disney will do the right thing.
Obviously, I realize that Disney is not my only source of parenting inspiration. And in some cases, maybe it should be my last. But for a movie that is based on an a female who defies gender stereotyping, this is one instance where Disney matters.